Saturday, March 22, 2008
Mayor Gordon seeks ‘world’s best’ nod—maybe in a Phoenix that is ‘capital of the whole universe,’ eh
Fresh off his hands-down re-election as mayor of Phoenix, Phil Gordon is already campaigning again—this time for “Best Mayor in the World.”
According to the website for the municipality “World,” “The World Mayor project, organised by City Mayors, seeks out mayors who have the vision, passion and skills to make their cities amazing places to live in, work in and visit.”
Charley Jones of the Pierson Place Association neighborhood group, who tirelessly forwards self-promoting notices from a variety of tirelessly self-promoting city officials to various weary e-mail recipients, commented on Gordon’s worthiness for “Best Mayor”: “Phoenix is an amazing place to live in, work in and visit. Especially around July 17, while held up in Midtown traffic due to light rail construction. Or, on any of our highways—you pick.”
Stephen Lemons, who writes a column in the city’s weekly alternative paper in which city officials are often lambasted, said he didn’t think Gordon could take much credit for the city’s amazing climate. “But I don’t think he’s done anything significant to detract from the constant oven blast that is Phoenix in midsummer. And early summer. And late spring. And late early spring. And mid spring. And fall. And early winter. He contributes at least his quota of politician’s hot air. And it’s not as if the design of amazing new downtown projects includes major sources of shade or other deprivation of searing solar radiation caressing downtown’s new contingents of students, city workers and undocumented immigrants—who are about the only midsummer ‘visitors’ I’m aware of, despite the touted Civic Center expansion and city-owned hotel.”
Gordon’s e-mail pitch for support in his quest for the “Best Mayor in the World” honor notes that the outreach is “paid for by Phil for Phoenix ... not at government expense.” “Clearly, city pols are having trouble figuring out what to do with the financial largesse lavished on them in Phoenix’s recent election cycle,” said alternative weekly reporter Sarah Fenske, who wrote in January about “campaign contributions” received by the donkeyload by the surprise winner of the city’s District 7 Council seat, following the election. The new councilman’s generous admirers said they had simply forgotten to sign the checks and buy stamps earlier, what with the holidays coming up.
State pollster and political maven Bruce Merrill speculated about the oddness of a “Phil for Phoenix” organization touting “Phil for the World.” “I’m guessing this means Phil is hoping to make Phoenix capital of the world,” he said. “After all, it’s quickly becoming the political center not only of Arizona, but of Mexico and the ‘mountain West’—as well as becoming an extension of Chicago and its political machine—or vice versa (no pun intended). With all the transplants moving here from the ‘Second City,’ Chicago is starting to become known as ‘Phoenix East’—not to be confused with east Phoenix, which is not to be confused with the East Valley, although east Phoenix is easily confused with Scottsdale, with the naive notion that the Phoenix Film Festival actually takes place in Phoenix anymore.”
“Phil’s major qualification for ‘World Mayor’ is his clear ability to be ‘all things to all people,’” said former legislator and sometime preservationist Earl Wilcox, who, along with former state Sen. Bill Brotherton, was endorsed by Gordon in the Democratic primary in which they contended for the same Senate seat in 2003.
“That’s why we get a piñata, a Hanukkah bush and a Christmas tree!” said Jake Gordon, Gordon’s youngest scion in his second, winter crop of offspring.
Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris agreed, noting Gordon’s success at being all things to all people in the recent controversy over whether police should check the immigration status of brownish people arrested in the city.
(As noted in this publication last year, Gordon is virtually the same person as ubiquitous-in-2006 actor Gael Garcia Bernal. In that guise, he often goes by the alias “El Gordo.”)
However, “Nah, I think it’s his ‘amazing’ record on civil liberties,” countered Brotherton, noting Gordon’s amazing insight into the guilt of the suspects apprehended in the “Baseline murders” case, immediately on their arrest a couple years ago. “He also was Johnny-on-the-spot when it was pointed out that porn was accessible via computers at the city library, due to bothersome Constitutional loopholes allowing freedom of speech and expression,” Brotherton added, noting that the “World Mayor” project, with its Anglicized spellings, clearly is backed by proponents of a world order that would hobble Gordon with no such civil libertarian constraints. “Their spelling ‘honour’ with a ‘u’—but not ‘Mayor’—is clearly part of the stealth nature of the campaign to elect the world’s top ... figurehead,” he said.
City Manager Frank Fairbanks, nearing retirement in Phoenix, had no comment whether he would serve “under” Gordon in a World-municipality administration.
“Frankly, I think it’s his ability to reach across party lines to get things done” that recommends Gordon for World Mayor, said maverick politician and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who received Democrat Gordon’s endorsement in the not-yet-geared-up general election against whomever the Democrats themselves pick.
Handicapping Gordon’s chances, Merrill pointed out his potentially crippling Achilles heel: literally, his weak Achilles heel, with a tendon injury from when hizzoner fell a couple of years ago, reportedly running desperately to get to a Starbuck’s minutes before closing. “He’s lucky one of our deputies didn’t see him running in the dark like that,” said Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. “We woulda picked him up for ‘running while possibly Mexican’”—an offense County Attorney Andrew Thomas was then already enforcing, a year before the Legislature even enacted it into law.
“And he’d better not let our sidewalk speed enforcement cameras catch him doing that,” said Gov. Janet Napolitano.
While “World” Mayor seems to imply “mayor of Earth,” it’s not clear that it doesn’t also include the universe as a whole in its jurisdiction—though provisions for lodging votes by denizens, or citizens, of Outer Space—a demographic Gordon has prudently counted on in the past—were not clearly explained on the World Mayor website.
Nonetheless, “He’s got my vote!” announced Lynne Spears. “My too,” echoed international goodwill ambassador Borat Sagdiyev, adding, after a long pause, “Not!” Failed Democratic presidential candidate and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel was rumored to be considering lending Gordon his endorsement.
Editor’s note: Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon’s being in the running—and touting himself—for “Best Mayor in the World” is not part of what is fake about this “fake news” article. For more about the contest—and to vote for or comment on Phil—visit worldmayor.com.